Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital spends $7 million for community projects, assisting uninsured
Several Dignity Health hospitals in the Sacramento region provided over $156 million for patient financial assistance and community health programs during the 2019 fiscal year, according to a press release from William Hodges, director of external communications for the nonprofit.
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital specifically spent $7,416,924 during that time, according to the release. This spending is aligned with the hospital’s intention of helping to create a healthier western Nevada County, which begins outside its walls, officials said.
It’s “ironic” that a hospital wants to “keep people from being hospitalized,” said Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital President and CEO Brian Evans. Evans wants to see communities like western Nevada County become healthier so fewer people are hospitalized each year.
It’s important residents have access to healthy foods, avoid substances and partake in recreational activity, said Evans. Seniors and people with mobility issues are in need of help, particularly those living in a rural community like Nevada County.
“It’s hard for people to get where they need to be,” he said.
Evans said the hospital doesn’t have all the solutions to these problems. It has been using part of the $7 million to partner with Granite Wellness Centers, the Grass Valley Police Department, Western Sierra Medical Clinic, Nevada County government and Hospitality House.
The rest of that money was directed to financially assisting the uninsured or individuals on MediCal, he said. About $4.15 million went to helping 19,553 MediCal recipients during the 2019 fiscal year. Then, 46 uninsured patients required hospital admission, he said.
The number of individuals visiting the hospital without insurance has decreased recently, said Evans, likely because of the MediCal expansion under Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.
Evans said the hospital has a policy of helping people who can’t afford to pay their hospital bill, which is based on need.
“It’s part of our mission to take care of everyone that’s here, regardless of their situation,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.
Correction: An original version of this story misstated how the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital interacted with $7 million. It spent the money during the 2019 fiscal year.
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